21st Century Houses: 150 of the worlds best

Wheeler Residence

Menlo Park, California, USA
William Duff Architects
Photography: Lucas Fladzinski and Jim Thompson

This 4,850-square-foot house seamlessly integrates sustainable building with modern design. It has four bedrooms, four bathrooms, and a 498-square-foot cabana with a guest room and a bathroom as well as a pool.

The design is governed by a careful system of proportioning based on the Fibonacci sequence. For example, rooms gradually increase in scale from the periphery to the center of the house, culminating in the lofted central family room, which acts as a focal point. Doors that function as “opening walls,” continuous concrete floors, and custom casework pieces that define living spaces without fully enclosing them establish flow between different spaces and activities. Likewise, the large corner door system at the family room blurs the distinction between inside and outside. Clerestory windows allow the ceiling to float while drawing in the light and color of the surroundings.

The elimination of interior partitions and the use of custom cabinetry to define functional areas allows for improved natural daylighting of interior spaces, as well as natural ventilation. Economical materials such as fin-ply resin panels, Corten steel, and stained fly-ash concrete establish a dramatic palette of color and texture that celebrates the inherent qualities of the materials, while minimizing the need for maintenance and repairs.

Wheeler Residence

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